Savage correctly predicted some low-scoring affairs in Spain last weekend and now turns his attention to some interesting away fixtures for La Liga’s Big Two.
Celta Vigo v Real Madrid
Fri 25 Aug 20:30
This particular fixture is one of the most comfortable on Real’s calendar. They have lost just 3 times to the Galician side in the previous 26 matches. Madrid have scored at least 2 goals in the last 14 meetings between these sides. The hosts have had a rocky start so far and needed a 94th-minute equaliser to snatch a point away to Sociedad. By contrast, their visitors have barely had to get out of first gear and have cruised through the opening two rounds unscathed. Having already bagged three goals, Jude Bellingham has certainly found his feet quickly at the Bernabéu. He may find life slightly tougher against a well-drilled Benitez side who will likely sit deep for most of the game. However, the Englishman should still be able to find some joy across the 90 minutes.
Villarreal v Barcelona
Sun 27 Aug 16:30
Barcelona were staring down the barrel of a second 0-0 draw until a Pedri goal on 82 minutes finally broke the deadlock against a resilient Cádiz. Ferran Torres added some gloss to the scoreline in extra time to make the Champions comfortable. Barca will need to start faster against Villarreal who have more than enough talent to make them pay for squandering chances and possession. A certain prolific Polish centre-forward has yet to open his account but one suspects it will not be much longer before he does. The hosts were unlucky not to have two wins from two when Valencia snatched all three points from them extremely late in Round 1. El Submarino Amarillo have only beaten Barcelona once in their last 10 outings so they will need something special to take the W in this one.
Athletic Club v Real Betis
Sun 27 Aug 20:30
The meeting of these two sides has not exactly provided riveting viewing for the neutral fan in recent years. Just 9 goals have been scored across their last 6 outings but 5 of those came in one game. However, the intimidating atmosphere of San Memés has been kind to Athletic when Betis come to town. They have won 5 of the previous 6 at home against Los Verdiblancos (W5 L1). Pellegrini’s side played out a turgid 0-0 draw against Atletico Madrid last weekend and failed to register a shot on target. They are likely to find clear cut chances equally as hard to come by in Basque country this time out. Bilbao bounced back from a 2-0 defeat to Madrid only to inflict the same scoreline on Osasuna a week later. This is unlikely to be a high scoring affair and a draw is definitely a possibility.
Celta Vigo v Real Madrid – Jude Bellingham to Score @ 13/5
Villarreal v Barcelona – Barcelona to Win @ 21/20
Athletic Club v Real Betis – Draw @ 13/5
Treble @ 26/1